In an age of celebrity endorsements, book-club picks and Amazon reviews, what is the state of once-vital literary criticism? How has the importance of robust and informed evaluation changed in an ever-crowded publishing market and an online sphere where everyone is potentially a critic? In this two-part series, Sydney Review of Books editor Catriona Menzies-Pike interviews four renowned critics about the future of literary criticism. This episode, Catriona speaks with award-winning literary critics Bernadette Brennan (A Writing Life: Helen Garner and Her Work) and Declan Fry – writer, poet, essayist and proud descendant of the Yorta Yorta.

This podcast is available on all major podcast platforms. 

Declan Fry (Australian)

Declan Fry

Declan Fry is a writer, poet, essayist, and proud descendant of the Yorta Yorta. Born on Wongatha country in Kalgoorlie, in 2020 he was engaged as a critic for The Age/Sydney Morning Herald, awarded the 2021 Peter Blazey Fellowship, and the Lord Mayor's Creative Writing Award for memoir. His work has appeared in MeanjinThe Saturday PaperLiminalOverland, and elsewhere.

Bernadette Brennan (Australian)

Bernadette Brennan

Bernadette Brennan is a critic and researcher of contemporary Australian writing. Her most recent work, A Writing Life: Helen Garner and Her Work, offers a fascinating literary portrait of one of Australia’s best loved authors. Bernadette's literary criticism has been published widely in Australia and abroad. She is the recipient of the Copyright Agency's inaugural Fellowship for Non-Fiction and is currently writing a biography of Gillian Mears. Bernadette is also one of five judges for the Miles Franklin Award.

Catriona Menzies-Pike (Australian)

Catriona Menzies-Pike

Catriona Menzies-Pike is the Editor of The Sydney Review of Books.